Who’s watching the watcher

Our new trail cam came in today. I was going to set it up tomorrow morning, but after unboxing it and setting up the date, time, etc., I figured I’d just go ahead and set it up.

Then, because the old camera was already there and actually working again…


I now have a camera on a camera.

The old camera is behind the sign and not really visible from the road, except at specific angles. So if someone tries to steal the new camera, they won’t see the old one unless they happen to look behind the sign, while standing by the new camera.

The only problem is that the old camera is facing the main road. It gets quite a bit of traffic, so the motion sensor is going to be triggered frequently. It is, however, set to stills, not video, so that shouldn’t take as much power.

It should be interesting to see the files on the new camera, tomorrow!

The Re-Farmer

Morning harvest, and … that really sucks

When to do my morning rounds these days is a bit of a conundrum. I can wait until later in the morning, but find it gets too hot, too quickly. Plus, the kitties will be hungry. Or I can do it earlier when it’s cooler, but get eaten alive by mosquitoes. I went earlier this morning and not only were the mosquitoes out in full force (and I didn’t want to use bug spray when I wasn’t going to be outside for very long), but it was so humid out, my glasses fogged up while I was picking beans, and the dew got me completely soaked from the knees down!

Still, there were some decent pickings this morning. The purple beans are starting to really kick in.

Normally, I would have set it up all pretty before taking a picture, but things did not go as expected this morning.

I was planning to make jokes about feeling “chipper”, because I got a call from the tree guys yesterday. They will be coming in today to chip our branch piles. The problem is, I’m not feeling the least bit chipper this morning, and this is why.

There is supposed to be a trail cam there. The post the camera screws onto is snapped right off.

In the off chance something bigger, like a racoon, broke it, I checked the ground around the post, both on our side of the fence line, and the road side. Nothing. It’s gone.

Obviously it was there yesterday morning, since I switched out the memory cards. I was watering the garden quite late, but I didn’t check it, so I can’t say if it disappeared during the day, or at night.

Now, the most obvious assumption is that our vandal took it. While in court with his civil suit against me, one of the things he kept bringing up is that I have cameras all over the place because I’m trying to “catch” him and put him in jail. That camera is there because the sign with my late father’s name on it that was mounted on the post had disappeared. A reflector that had been mounted to overlap the top of the sign was broken in half. Half is still on the post, and I found the other half on the ground. So we made the new sign and put the camera on it as a deterrent. In fact, one of the pictures our vandal submitted to court as some sort of evidence against me (???) was of the sign, with the camera beside it circled.

I would have preferred to have the camera further back from the fence, but there was no way to mount it and still record the area in front of the sign. So it’s very been very visible from the road, and can be easily reached.

The irony of it is, this camera has been having problems. Unlike the other trail cam, where you can see that the batteries are slowly dying in the night shots (infrared flash is not as bright, flickering lines across the frame, etc), when the batteries go on this one, it tends to be very sudden. I’ll open it up and the LCD screen won’t turn on, and the camera will be dead. Usually, I just change the batteries, reset the time and date, and it’s done, but the LCD screen never came back. The camera was still recording, but the time and date was on default, and reset to default every time I changed the memory card. I was planning to replace it, but all our extra funds are going towards paying the tree guys to chip the branch piles today. Still, I was expecting to replace the camera fairly soon.

Now, there’s no camera to replace.


So once I was back inside from doing my rounds, the girls took care of the vegetables for me so I could look up and call the non-emergency RCMP number for our area.

There was no answer, so I left a message.

I could report the theft online, but after going over their options, I decided against it. Because of our vandal and the restraining order we have against him, this theft falls into several categories – and we can’t even say that he is the one who took it. Yes, he’s the most likely person to have done that, but would he really be THAT stupid? Yet, there is no one else who would do something like that. Even if one of his buddies decided to do it, they would know he would be the one immediately suspected and that it would get him in even worse trouble.


What a start to the day!

The Re-Farmer

Future wildflower area, and something’s missing

After breaking the lawn mower in the strip along the road, I finally got back to it, today.

Here is how it looked before I started, from each end.

I suppose one good thing about the drought conditions is that this area has never gotten overgrown. There were saplings starting, so I went over the area with the lopper first, cutting them as close to the ground as I could. The last time I had to do that, we didn’t have loppers, so a lot of these saplings were growing out of the ragged ends of smaller saplings before, that had been mowed over rather than cut with pruning shears. The larger ones had been cut with pruning shears, and there was enough of them that I had needed a wheelbarrow to clean up. This time, I could just pick up the larger ones by hand and didn’t even get an armful.

Here is how it looked when I was done.

The plan for this area is to convert it to native wildflowers for the pollinators. The mix we have has 16 annuals and perennials, chosen for Western Canadian climates. We intend to start at the far end (where the lawn mower can be seen in the one photo), as that end is near the garden. Over time, I intend to continually scatter more seeds down the line, with a goal of this entire strip being full of wildflowers. Once that is established, we won’t need to mow it regularly any more, and we will just need to keep on top of cutting away any saplings that try to establish themselves, and do a single mow, at the highest setting, at the end of the year.

What we can’t do is follow the instructions. This is the method we had intended to follow.

Method Three involves more planning but requires no chemicals. Till in the late summer or early fall the year before planting. You may allow the soil to lie fallow or plant a cover crop after tilling. A cover crop may be important if your site is on a slope. A green manure cover crop such as buckwheat or annual rye grass will hold the soil until spring, help add beneficial organic matter and help snuff out germinating weeds. In the spring, light cultivation will be needed to loosen the soil and turn under all existing growth just prior to planting. ‘


Well, we can’t till this area. Even if we had a working tiller. You can’t see them in the photos, but there are several large rocks peaking through the soil, and I have no doubt there are more that cannot be seen. I had hoped to at least go over the area with a harrow, but we still need to figure out a safe way to get under the riding mower, which has a tow hitch, to put the chain back on, so it will move. It hasn’t exactly been a priority.

Then there are these instructions:


Once your ground is bare and loose, you are ready to sow. Following are a couple of tips that will make the whole process simple and successful. First, choose a nearly windless day and, second, separate the seed you’re planting, no matter the amount, in roughly two equal parts. Put the first half in a clean bucket or coffee can and add in roughly 10 parts of light sand or vermiculite. There are two reasons for the sand. It will dilute the seed and help you spread it more evenly. More important, since it is lighter-colored than the freshly-tilled soil, you’ll be able to see where you’ve been as you sow. You can simply hand-sow, keeping the seeding as even as possible. Or use a hand-crank seeder. The amount of seed you sow depends on the sort of flower display you want. Many people sow up to two or even three times the minimum seeding rates on seed packages to assure heavy bloom. Avoid planting higher densities since this will inhibit good growth. Sow the first half of your seed/sand mix over the entire area to be seeded. Then go back, mix the second half of your seed with sand and spread that seed over the whole area. This way, you’ll avoid bare spots. Once the seed is evenly sown, you can rake to barely cover the seed with soil. Or, simply compress the seed into the freshly-tilled ground. A lawn roller is perfect for the job, and for smaller areas, a piece of plywood laid down and walked on will do.

Okay, so we can broadcast the seed easily enough, but things like getting rid of all the roots of what’s already there, and having “bare and loose” soil first is out of the question. We’ll be lucky if we can loosen the soil at all. As for raking or tamping down to compress the seed into the soil? Ha! Nope. Not gonna happen. It’s just too large of an area. We will also not be able to do any watering here, at all. We have enough hose that we can reach the furthest corner of the furthest garden bed with the spray nozzle on the hose. I have no intention of buying yet another length of hose, to water outside the garden area.


The instructions say to prepare the soil, then plant in the spring, after last frost. Since we can’t water the area, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and broadcast the seeds in the fall. I had expected to be doing that around now, but we are having relatively warm temperatures for the next while, and we’re also getting rain. I don’t want the seeds to germinate. I want them to go dormant before getting covered with snow. Then, when the snow melts in the spring, they will get their moisture.

This goes against all the instructions but… well, these are wildflowers. Wildflowers manage to propagate themselves without freshly turned soil, tamping down or clearing of other plant roots. I’m going to be trying to copy nature, here.

So we will do as much as we can first – which, unless we can get under the mower, is basically what I’ve done today. I’ll be using garden soil instead of sand to help broadcast the seed more evenly. Since I don’t want the seeds to germinate, I will probably wait until the end of the month, or even into October, to do it. Whatever survives, survives. If we keep broadcasting seeds, year after year, eventually the area will get filled. Hopefully with a good variety.

So that’s done as much as possible for today.

This is the first time I’ve been out this way, on foot, all year, which means today was the first time I was able to check out, and get a photo of, this.

This is the corner post of the property’s fence line.

It needs replacing, as does most of the fence, but that is not what I was taking a pictures of.

I was taking a picture of what isn’t there.

My father’s name.

Many years ago, my dad took a piece of red plastic and used gold coloured, metal, self adhesive, letters to put his initial and surname on it. The sign was mounted on this post. Back in the day, before any of these roads had names, and well before the driveway marker system was implemented, the sign was used as a landmark when giving people directions to our place.

We don’t go out often, and the sign can be easily seen only when we are on the return trip, but seeing that flash of red while turning the corner always made me feel good. It was a memory of my father.

Some time ago, however, I realized I wasn’t seeing that flash of red anymore. Today, I got to look around to see why.

There isn’t a trace of that sign. The reflector at the top got broken in half, though, and the rest of it is on the ground, but that’s all I could find.

The road that goes past our driveway has our family name, as well as a numerical name. When we first moved here, the road sign with our family name was at the top of the stop sign across the intersection. One day, the stop sign was lying broken on the ground, and the road sign with our family name on it was gone. I am 99% sure this was done by our vandal, and I’m just as sure that he is responsible for the sign on this fence post being gone. When it happened, I have no way to know.

What a childish, petty thing to do.

If we ever do get the road sign replaced (I’ll have to contact the municipal council again about that), or replace the sign on the fence, we’ll have to set up a trail cam on it, because I just know that our vandal will go after it again.

Switching out memory cards in this location would be much more inconvenient, that’s for sure!! But it would need to be done.

What a pain.

The Re-Farmer


I had quite the crowd greeting me when I headed out this morning!

Of course, they immediately abandoned me, once there was food! 😀

I will have to be more careful when I do this. One of the spice boys slipped into the sun room without my noticing, and got trapped! Thankfully, one of my daughters heard his plaintive meowing after she’d turned the light on to go into the bathroom, lighting up the sun room a bit through the window. He’d been in there most of the day! I went in through the old kitchen, then opened the outside doors of the sun room to let him out. It didn’t quite work! Instead, his brother immediately ran in, and the two of them started to snuggle and rub their faces against each other. They missed each other so much! 😀 I was able to lure them out while topping up their food in the kibble house. 🙂

Yesterday, I headed to town and finally got the opportunity to check the outside of the gate. Checking the gate is part of my morning rounds, but I don’t take the gate key with me, so I can’t check the outside of the gate very well. And why should I have to? After seeing how our vandal had reefed on the south gate, I took a closer look.

Sure enough, he actually managed to cause damage.

It may not seem like much, but he reefed the gate against the post hard enough to create permanent dents in the pool noodle bumpers. The top one had been shifted a bit, though I’d put it back before taking the picture. If you look at the gate post in the first photo, you can see a nick in the paint. That nick is right to the metal. The posts were originally painted black, so that is through two layers of paint. It had to take a lot of force to slam the gate hard enough against the post to cause even that little bit of damage, while there were still the other bumpers to cushion the gate.

Thank God my brother did such a fabulous job in replacing the broken hinges! Our vandal was clearly trying to break the gate. The other half of the gate had nothing, thankfully.

Dealing with this is what I’m procrastinating. I need to transcribe old phone messages to present to the court when I make my applications for a restraining order and involuntary psychiatric assessment. I am not looking forward to it.

One of the things I’ve done instead is finally put up the shelves I’d painted for the entry.

Previously, I’d had a net hanging from hooks to hold various things. The net was from our previous van, to keep things from rolling around. I’d kept it to use with the van we have now, but it doesn’t fit anywhere, but I still hung on to it. It was good enough to hold random things, but not very easy to get at those things, once they were in!

I’d painted the boards I’d cut from a piece salvaged from a shed, and they were ready to put up several days ago. My daughter provided some shelf brackets she was no longer using. I suppose I should have painted them, too, but – unlike the board I salvaged – they don’t have any damage to hide. 😀

The shelves are attached to the outside of a closet, but there is a joist only on the front and back. The rest is just paneling. With the window, I couldn’t have the shelves extend right to the wall, so only one side of each shelf is screwed into a joist. Inside the closet, there is a board that supports the rod, but not at a useful height. So for the bottom shelf, the bracket closer to the window is screwed into paneling, only. I wish I’d thought to attach the bracket to the wall, like the top one, before I’d screwed it into place, but… ah, well. We’ll just have to make sure nothing heavy gets put on that end of the shelf. 🙂

We are now waiting for the inevitable crash of a cat deciding to explore the shelves and knocking everything over! 😀 They love to sit in that window and watch the cats outside.

So by procrastinating one thing, I accomplished a job that had been procrastinated for a couple of years, now. 😀

Looking at the date, I am realizing that, for my husband and youngest daughter, they have been here for 3 years! In less than a week, it’ll be the 3 yr anniversary for this blog, too.

We had an idea of what we were walking into, when we decided to move out here, but my goodness, there was a lot we didn’t expect!

Having to deal with someone close to us becoming our own personal vandal, especially to the point that it has, was one of the last things we could have expected!


I guess I should get to transcribing those files.

Oh, wait… I should probably work on supper, first.

The Re-Farmer

Critter(s) of the Day, and an update

Since we brought bitty little Dave into the house as a permanent addition, the other inside cats were not too sure what to make of this strange new presence!

Mama cat and DahBoy were mostly perplexed. Fenrir, on the other hand, was not a happy camper! She would hiss at him and sometimes even bat at him. Yet, she couldn’t seem to stay away from him, either, following him around all over the place, frequently.

He, on the other hand, was quite used to having large numbers of cats and kittens show up, so a few strange new cats wasn’t much of a big deal for him. He would sometimes run up to the other cats, much to their dismay, and had no problem pushing his way into their food bowls.

It’s been a week since he’s joined our household, at it seems we have reached a turning point.

Fenrir has gone from hissing at him, to at least accepting his nearby presence.

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Gate Repair: removing damaged hinges and adding new

I’m absolutely thrilled that my brother and his wife are over for the weekend! Their RV trailer fits in the inner yard, so they even brought their own “house” with them.

My brother, being how he is, was soon working on the damaged gate. More specifically, the gate posts. He’d actually been working on it for a while before he asked me to come and document what he was doing, so he’d managed to get the first of the remaining hinges off by then.

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Staying cool

Today has been a day to stay inside, where it’s cooler – and to allow my body to recover from yesterday a bit more.

Which means I’m feeling decidedly unproductive.

I did manage to finally clean the windows on the outside, around the house, and on the inside in the sun room.

The kittens didn’t know what to make of that!!

I tried to get some pictures of bees, too. The problem is, with the bright sunshine, I can’t tell if my phone is focusing where I want it to, or not!

I did manage a good one, though.

This is a smaller variety of our native bumble bees. So pretty. 🙂

One of the things I tried to do today was remove those bottom hinge pins on the gate posts. We’ve been spraying them with penetrating lubricant regularly, in hopes that would help.

It didn’t. The hinges themselves can rotate freely, but those nuts are just not moving. My older brother had managed to get a few turns on this one, and that was as far as it would go.

I suspect they will need to be cut off.

The next thing to consider is how to clean these in preparation for painting. I’m hoping the detergent we got to wash the gates I’ve been painting will be enough to remove the lubricant.

As for the gates, they’ve been flipped in preparation to do the other sides, but if I am able to do it at all today, it will be after things start to cool down!

Looking at the forecast, it looks like we’ve finally reached that time of year where the only productive work outside will have to be done in the early hours, or the evenings, to avoid heat stroke.

The Re-Farmer

It’s official… sort of

As of today, it is now official.

We are a two vehicle household.

Sort of.

I was able to register my mother’s car in my name, but it’s still her car. This means that, if she needs help to get to an appointment or go grocery shopping, I can use her car, instead of her struggling to climb up into our van. I will make sure to use it once in a while, just because it’s not good for vehicles to sit around. Today, I plan to take it in for a car wash! 😀

But I am getting ahead of myself.

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